The Migration Museum has paid tribute to journalist and author George Alagiah OBE, following his passing yesterday.
Alagiah was a Trustee of the museum and a ‘Distinguished Friend’ since its inception, and spoke at its launch in 2017.
He was among those to contribute childhood photos to the museum’s first exhibition, 100 Images of Migration.
Alagiah moved from Sri Lanka to Ghana at six years old, and then to Britain when he was 11. He began his career at the BBC in 1989 and was awarded an OBE in 2008. He had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014.
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The museum described Alagiah as “a passionate supporter, a remarkable trustee and a true friend and champion”.
“We send our heartfelt thoughts and condolences to his family,” the museum said.
The museum’s CEO, Sophie Henderson wrote a tribute to Alagiah on the museum’s website.
Henderson wrote: “It was just so sad hearing that George Alagiah had died, and such a shock though we knew full well that his cancer had recently taken an irreversible turn for the worse.
“The thing that always first springs to mind about George is just how much we – and everybody – really loved him. He had an extraordinary warmth and an ability instantly to connect with people.”
In February 2023, planning consent was granted by the Corporation of London for a new development to create a new permanent venue for the Migration Museum.
Henderson continued: “It is in no small measure thanks to George that we are now so close to achieving our goal of delivering a permanent home for the Migration Museum that Britain so richly deserves, and we will treasure and honour his memory by doing so.”